One year into owning my 2017 Volvo XC90... [rants perhaps]

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One year into owning my 2017 Volvo XC90... [rants perhaps]

Post by circuitbored » Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:20 pm

So I'm one year into owning my Volvo XC90 SUV and it's been a mainly positive experience... I've been meaning to rant about a few things concerning it for a while now, and I figured today is as good a day as any other so here goes.

I've owned my 2017 R Design for almost a year now, and I don't regret buying it at all, but many things lead me to think that I'll sell the car before it gets out of warranty. It's got auto pilot on cruise control (even though I don't use it). And it's very comfortable, has power and probably the best comfort out of every car in it's class.

The car was expensive, I pay around $850 per month for it, and that was with about $15k down from my prior trade-in (A Range Rover Evoque Dynamic). I loved the smaller size of the Evoque most, it had serious repair and maintenance costs and it was growing out of warranty so I traded it in (But that's a whole nother' story).

The XC90 payment is big, but I can afford it, but it's a 4 cylinder SUV that's supercharged and Turbocharged... The performance is quite good on it, especially in Dynamic mode, but it guzzles Gas in dynamic mode, and I need to select the advanced drive modes every time I start the car and that got tedious so I just mostly drive it in the standard mode every time.

I think the maker fuel economy stats should have been provided in the sport/dynamic mode, because they're dramatically different than the standard mode, and it seems like that's how they get to exaggerate performance stats. Dealers always put the car into sport mode on test drives, so it makes buyers think that's the way the car always drives.

My XC90 has the air suspension, which everyone raves about, but I find the default suspension setting to be too cushy, at highway speeds it can be scary until you get used to the SUV, sport mode kicks all the responses up significantly, and the car changes completely performance-wise, which is a bit better on the highway, but if you pull over for a rest stop, you'll wonder where the dynamic performance went until you re-select the drive mode again, which is always quite frustrating.

My car has been in the shop a fair amount of times in the last year of my ownership where I had to get a loaner car, I bought it brand new. I have gotten terrible replacement loaner cars that all smelled weird, from tiny Volvo Station Wagons to a Horrible Dodge mini van, to a Subaru Outback, I guess that's the dealer's way of saving money, but when you buy a $60k+ vehicle, I feel the dealer should be conscious about the quality of their loaners, and the loaner cars should not smell like farts and Axe Body Spray perhaps... Maybe that's just me being a snob though.

So far, the repairs my car has required have been -

When my Android Auto didn't work, the car needed a software update.
When the infotainment system was running slow on me twice, the car needed a software update.
When BlueTooth stopped working right, the car needed a software update.
When I got screws in my tires twice, the car needed a software update.
More recently, when the "Reduced Engine Performance" alert came on and my car started to stall on me while I was driving in traffic, the car needed a new fuel pump... and a software update.

You see a recurring theme there>? The car needs almost as many updates as my phone does... Mainly thanks to the infotainment system, which is basically an iPad where all the aspects of the car are controlled. I like the iPad and I also hate it. it gets smudgy when I use it, and constantly needs to be wiped off or it makes me look like a total slob, but it's probably still better and cleaner than buttons. I kind of wish it was horizontally oriented, because then widescreen movies would not waste so much screen space (can only watch them while parked, and not for long unless the engine is running though, so I rarely play movies in the car... sadface).

The radio doesn't turn off when I turn the car off until I open the door to exit it, or unless I wait for the timeout warning to happen. That's quite annoying trend in modern cars, especially because I can't sit and listen to a long radio broadcast or music in the car without it running... Don't people make out to music in new cars anymore?! That requires the engine to be off, or bad things can happen.

The car is very reliant on it's main screen, and on technology in general, and that makes me think that the car's tech will be obsolete in about 6 years, or earlier if Volvo decides to end support for the current iPad like management screen. The car is based on dealer visits for updates too which was short-cited for them, and inconvenient for me, because if I lived farther away from the dealer, I'd probably go without updates and be completely frustrated with things not working on the car I paid so much for.

In addition, as far as I'm concerned, SiriusXM can eat a giant pair of Ox Balls, they've been calling me non-stop to get me to subscribe, after 3 months of my 6 month promotion passed, despite me having told them to remove me off their call list. I have my own music collection and I play it off my phone and USB sticks, and I don't need to rent music from anyone ever hopefully for the rest of my life.

The main problem in not keeping the SiriusXM subscription is that I can't use the #$(%*@#in Volvo OnCall app to start my car remotely on cold days... Somehow, a remote start feature I already paid for on the car only works when I pay a monthly fee to SiriusXM!? WTF?! I don't want to buy a viper system on top of it just for remote start and I can't get anyone to hack it out of fear of voiding my warranty, so I have some choice words for the person who brought up that idea of requiring SiriusXM subscription for remote start at Volvo... Just give me a call for them.

Sure I could pay the SiriusXM monthly fee like many others do, but I won't... Just on general principal. I paid for the feature, many people can remote start their cars without involving the Internet or monthly fees. It's also quite strange that without remote start on my car, my car takes a strangely long time to warm up on cold mornings...(conspiracy theory perhaps). We've had lots of them lately, and it's strange how that makes me want to subscribe to SiriusXM so I can have a pre-warmed car, but I will fight the establishment by biting my wallet and shivering before my drives a bit instead...

So with all the tech in my car, all the required updates (about 5 per year so far) and even more breakable stuff on it I got like the air suspension, the sound system upgrade, the Super and Turbochargers, etc... I'm thinkin' I'm gonna sell the car before it is out of warranty... Heck, it may even be as soon as another car I want comes out. I love the car now, but my biggest fear is being stuck with it when updates and fixes become an out of pocket expense, because so much of the car industry seems to be based on scheduled obsolescence, timed product failure, and constantly better new things. One day I'll probably go retro and break the cycle... I'm looking forward to a retro muscle car that has all it's kinks ironed out, but chances are I won't be able to rely on that car either, at least it won't suffer from technology breakdowns that I can't fix on the side of the road by myself.

For those who don't know it, here's a quick video about the car -

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